Solid show from England's supporting cast
Tourists 9-4 for Gabba win after Vince 83
Australia v England
Resumes 11.30pm Thursday, BT Sport 1
Brisbane, day one: England 196-4 (Vince 83, Cummins 2-59)
Joe Root and Alastair Cook dominated the top England series runscorer betting before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane but the supporting cast took centre-stage on an evenly-balanced first day at the Gabba.
James Vince, a 10-1 shot to be England's top batsman in the series, scored an impressive 83 to help the tourists close the first day on 196-4 and there were useful contributions from Mark Stoneman (53) and Dawid Malan (28 not out).
Australia, 5-6 favourites pre-match, eased slightly to 11-10 with England clipped to 9-4 and the draw an 11-4 chance.
The close-of-play score represented a solid fightback from England after Cook was caught at first slip off Mitchell Starc for two in the third over of the series.
Stoneman and Vince steadied the ship with a stand of 125 and more of the same is required from not-out batsmen Malan and Moeen Ali when they face the second new ball on Friday morning.
A soggy build-up to the match means the Gabba pitch lacked its usual pace and bounce and spinner Nathan Lyon was a major threat.
Lyon, who had Vince dropped by wicketkeeper Tim Paine before running him out from cover, went wicketless but conceded only 40 runs in 24 high-quality overs and Pat Cummins also impressed in his first home Test match.
The match market suggests England had marginally the better of the opening round but first-innings runs will be vital, particularly if the pitch continues to help the spinners.
England's runs line is pitched at 349.5 - 10-11 over/under - with bet365 and Sky Bet make Malan 3-1 to top-score with clubhouse leader Vince a 1-2 shot.
Batsmen are likely to have to work hard for their runs on a tricky pitch and Australia's debutant opener Cameron Bancroft could be in for a tough time against James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Cummins had success by bowling a little fuller than usual, pinning Root lbw, and Anderson and Broad are masters of that kind of length.
The experienced pair are unlikely to give Bancroft many freebies when Australia bat and he could struggle to exceed a Hills runs line of 31.5.
C Bancroft under 31.5 first-innings runs
1pt 5-6 Hills
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport
Like us on Facebook RacingPostSport